Friday, November 4, 2011

Olympic bronze medalist John Carlos speaks about the 1968 Olympics, civil rights movement, etc...

The Northwest African American Museum was packed with nearly 250 guests Thursday night as 1968 Mexico City Olympic bronze medalist John Carlos (left/photo by Paul Merca) spoke about his life before and after his defining moment, where he and teammate Tommie Smith raised their black gloved fists in the air during the medal ceremonies after the 200 meter dash.

Carlos, in town as part of a nation wide tour to promote his book, "The John Carlos Story", talked about the events leading up to the moment on the podium, as well as meeting some of the key figures of the 1960s civil rights movement, including Malcolm X, Dr. Harry Edwards,  and Dr. Martin Luther King.

During his talk, he made a point of acknowledging the contributions of Australian silver medalist Peter Norman, who was ostracized by his countrymen for wearing the Olympic Project for Human Rights button, and was never asked to play any part in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Earlier in his visit to Seattle, Carlos, who spoke at Occupy Wall Street, and has made a point of visiting Occupy camps around the country, was part of a very awkward interview with CNN's Kyra Phillips, which never got past the anchor's questions about the Mexico City Olympics, because Carlos corrected her assertion that he and Smith were stripped of their medals. a fact that simply isn't true.

While International Olympic Committee boss Avery Brundage booted the two away from the Olympic Village, their medals remained intact.

Here are excerpts from USA Track & Field hall of famer Carlos' talk Thursday night...

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